Observing National Depression Screening Day
October 7 is National Depression Screening Day – an observance that highlights the importance of diagnosing and treating depression.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 4.7% of adults aged 18 and over deal with regular feelings of depression, and 10.6% of physician office visits indicate depression on a patient’s medical record. Despite the prevalence of this illness, depression and mental health issues are often kept in darkness. National Depression Screening Day is the perfect time to shine a spotlight on available resources to help those who are living with depression.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information – part of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, a branch of the National Institutes of Health – substantial evidence shows that people living with physical disabilities are at least three times more likely to experience depression compared to the general population.
Depression is one of many “hidden,” or non-visible, disabilities. It is considered a psychiatric disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act because it can interfere with daily activities and a person’s ability to work. The ADA guarantees access to programs that provide assistance, though not everyone with depression qualifies for disability benefits. Many Human Resources teams can help ensure employees receive the accommodations, resources, and supports they need to continue working successfully as they receive treatment for depression. In addition, one of the largest sources of employment for people with disabilities is the AbilityOne® Program, which connects this segment of the workforce with accessible careers. This can include people living with a depression diagnosis.
Some nonprofit organizations offer online depression screenings that they say are free, anonymous, and confidential. It’s important to acknowledge that these screenings are not professional diagnoses; rather, they can help identify the presence or absence of depressive symptoms. Consulting with a mental health professional is important!
Today and every day, SourceAmerica® acknowledges the importance of diagnosing and treating depression and encourages everyone to seek help if they are suffering.